Appearance There are 15 species of Woodpecker found in Kenya. Woodpeckers have zygodactyl toes (two facing forward and two back), with sharp nails and sharp chisel-like bills. Cranial adaptations have evolved, to protect their brains from constant drilling and drumming on trees. Strong shafted, stiff feathers are utilised in holding the bird upright on trees. All Kenyan woodpeckers are sexually diomorphic and sexes have different head patterns or colours.
Habits Using their still tail feathers for balance, Woodpeckers drill out their own nest cavities in trees and are usually seen in pairs, maintaining vocal contact. They are territorial birds, drumming on a hollow branch to claim an area.
Diet Having drilled and drummed on trees, to wedge open bark, Woodpeckers use their long, sticky tongues, that have bristles, to extract insects from the cavities.
Resident Kenyan Woodpeckers are all residents, typically found in woodlands and bushed habitats.
Extra Woodpecker Facts Woodpeckers make a variety of calls, often repetitive, like "keek~keek~keek" or "keer~eek~keer~eek".
Photographs Photographed at Kenya's Masai Mara and Olare Orok Conservancy.